The perfect time to walk the walk and talk the talk

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Hey Jesus, will you be attending tomorrow’s media focus meeting?  We have a few issues needing your input.  No biggie if you can’t – we are well-versed (guffaw!) in what needs to be done – but might be nice if you showed your face to the troops on the ground … the personal touch always makes a difference.

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Here in the UK we are in the middle of the latest election campaign.  All the main parties are making all the usual pledges and plans and “promises”.  All of which may or may not be acted upon come the result and the future “plans, pledges and promises” once the dust settles.

I remember the amazement when Trump acted upon the pre-election rhetoric of “The Wall”.  WOW!  A politician who’s actually doing what he said he would do!  Revolutionary!

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And that other conversation – if Jesus was around today would he be using social media to get the message out?  Would he – like Trump – spend his evenings/early mornings not in prayer, but in twitting.  Firing out policy and process to a global audience well-trained to salivate at each bunch of limited characters.  An audience trained to applaud or puke.  But whatever your response – we’re all are in awe of “the reach”!  The numbers.  The size of the audience.  The absence of anonymity.  Of our inability to ignore the man and his pronouncements.

God would had to have had some of that (we say with envy)!

Make disciples of all nations?

Jesus would have done that in a heartbeat if we had twitter back then!  Imagine all the Insta feeds!  All those “little children” pics and storyline!  That would have got the message out ….  Instead of the dusty peeps we would have the techno peeps!  All heads-down with micro-targeting!  Bringing the message in just the right way to just the right people!  Just like pyramid-selling … One disciple makes XXX believers … XXX believers make XX disciples … makes XXXX believers … makes XXX disciples makes …

Numbers are so much easier to work with than all that “campaign-trail-anecdotal-stuff” (we call the Gospels today).

I am not so convinced Jesus would have.

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My reasoning?

If the Son of God picked the perfect time to walk the walk, talk the talk, and be The Man amongst his creations … why then? Why not now?

Why NOT hold back the eternity of infinity for another 2000 years – a mere drop in the ocean of time that is eternity?  Why then when even “reading and writing” was a biggie … when even carrier pigeons hadn’t been invented … when civil rights – human rights – were not on the agenda … when social housing and social equality – inclusion and inclusivity – were not even a pipe-dream …

Why THEN?

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If that was the perfect time – then I accept that was the perfect time.

Which implies big numbers … big data … global reach … all that “Great Commission” logistics “stuff” run by money even today … perhaps that is not “it”.

Perhaps it’s not “how many I bring” to Him.  Perhaps it’s something else.

Perhaps it’s all about me – who I am – what I am – who I have become – who I can become – who I choose to be – what I choose to be.  Perhaps my one insignificant drop in this vast ocean of humanity (over all eternity) does matter.

Perhaps I am the reason for all of this.

Not in what I tweet, not in what I preach, not in how many I bring (or don’t) … but in MY journey – MY choices – MY decisions – MY relationships – MY living and MY loving.

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Because the “campaign trail” notes (we call the Gospels) that I read are not about global reach – but about those who sought-out (rather than those who were sought-after).

So I question whether Jesus today would reach for his smartphone in the dead of night and fire off some “global reach” message.  I think we would find him as we journeyed our own lives one day at a time – one bumping into one someone at a time.  And come to think about …

That’s pretty much how it still happens today.

(isn’t it?)

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It’s just no one can see it anymore

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Over at justmebeingcurious today …

“Love conquers death.  Love conquers a hard-heart.  Love’s the first and last thing we each know – whether by love’s presence OR by love’s absence.”

As we say at Church Set Free: Love is always the answer.

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“When were you last at confession?  When were you last at church?  When did you last read the bible?  When did you last pray to God the Father?  When did you last give?  When did you last … “

As we say in church.

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This Sunday, why not spend a few minutes with

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Dearly beloved …

As we gather here today …

 

 

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Thank you,

Paul

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What is a disciple?

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“Was being saved a good thing, Paul?

At the time – yes. It connected me with something bigger.  It connected me with something eternal. It connected me with …

“It” – you use the word “it”. Is that all this is?

Is that all I am – “it”?

At the time no – but since … yes.”

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What is a disciple?

I was taught that once I was saved I could be many things one of which was to be a disciple.

I was taught that I was a follower, a replicator, an evangelist (in the true sense of the word), someone in touch with their unique spiritual gifts … an apprentice mini-me Jesus.  Never to attain the perfection of the real thing – but on a lifelong journey to come as close as I could.  It all sounded so terribly complicated, so much like work, so much like a group activity – a community of disciples all …

“Discipling”.

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“And now?

And now you are you and I am me – and I Am describes it all – and Love IS the greatest of all – and this is all so simple – if I allow. 

I am no different.  Just free to be me without all the self-imposed fitting-in-constraints of both culture AND religion.

And what of the future and getting to heaven?

What of it?”

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And now I find it less about community and more about one day at a time – one moment at a time – one now merging with forever – merging this world with something bigger – merging me with all – about (perhaps) heaven … right now … right here … no complication required … no work required …

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“And what about life after being saved?

No different than anything else.  Being saved becomes another it.

Because I am who I am every moment.

If I allow.”

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See the full post at:

On being saved and life thereafter

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We are creators with rights

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Love is the answer, now what’s your question.

What is grace … ?
What is forgiveness … ?
What is being saved … ?
What is church … ?
What is spiritual growth … ?
Who is God … ?
Who is Jesus … ?
What is the Holy Spirit … ?
Where is God … ?
Why is God … ?

To all of those my answer is Love.

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But what about the “blame God” questions?

Why do people die … ?
Why do people get sick … ?
Why do people do bad things … ?
Why does God let bad things happen … ?

My answer is that Love allows.

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Allows me to decide what I will do, will think, will respond, will change or not.

Imagine living forever – never dying.

  This world is struggling to support our capacity for longevity and for curing more and more ills.

Imagine if we all lived forever and could never have children, could never create new life, could never live free to be who we are: creators.  Where is the love in that self-centred desire for eternal life here on this earth?  There is no “freedom” in that anymore than there is “freedom” in death.

My answer is that Love allows.

Allows bad things to happen.  Decisions and actions dictated by me.  My choice.  My freedom to be who I am.

“The poor will always be with you.”

Imagine being so rich in happiness that sadness was impossible.  I would be poor in empathy and connection with others.  I would be regarded as odd – up my own backside – out of touch with the real world.

“My dog died.”
Wow! I am so happy for you!

“My mother is very ill.”
Oh dear, but I have two tickets for (this highly prized event) isn’t that just too wonderful for words?

“I can’t pay my bills this week – I don’t know what to do.”
Well never mind, I have just booked and paid for the holiday of a lifetime – can’t you be happy for me?

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Only “good stuff”

Insulates and emasculates.

Love allows.  Allows me to be free of having to be something I say I should be.  Allows me to be free of having to be something you say I should be.  Allows each of us to be free to be who we are, who we were, and who we will be.  Happy, sad, rich, poor, healthy and ill, living and dying.   I think “bad stuff” is our expectation that we should be above life itself.  We are not only creators – we are creators with rights – the right to be above “bad stuff”.

Every shooter wants to be free of “bad stuff” – the bad stuff seen or experienced or heard or seen – bad stuff of their created reality and those who think like them.  A reality that motivates and validates taking life.  Makes killing a good thing.

Just as we kill perfectly good relationships because the grass is greener … kill goodness in others by giving them our anger or pain … kill honesty and integrity bit-by-bit with every “no one will notice – no one will see” …  kill Love with “I have rights” – that starts with one tiny baby-step – but allows a journey only we decide. 

Cancer.  Tumours.  Infections.  Superbugs.

We have rights – the right to be above bad stuff we call “unfair” … “too soon” … “why me” … “why this” … “why does no one care” … “why does no one fix this?

Because we are creators and we have rights.

The right to be above life itself.

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And maybe that is why Jesus.  A real-life or a parable-life – I care not.

I care only that this Creator – this all-knowing-all-seeing-all-controlling “God” who we created – a creation not above life as we know it here on earth – is not a Creator who has rights – is not a Creator who fixes everything (and everyone) with a magic-wand – but who meets me where I am because that is Love – meets me if I allow because that is Love.

A Creator – we created – who is Love not magic – who has all the time in the world for me – who is not a Creator of a tight-ship/tight-schedule who can give-you-two-minutes-tops.

A Creator – we created – who is of Love allowing all – who is not of “I-have-rights”.

I think blame is not Love – not our created Creator-God.

Because if we created this God of the Bible (and we did) … a God not above life on earth … not of “What About Me” … not of all that stuff we think is Love but is self-created in “I have rights” …

Then we created something truly wonderful

Because we created this God who is Love

We allowed our best-self to be our template for best-living

If we allow.

“Love is the answer, now what’s your question?”

Is us

And that IS

Phenomenal!

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The qualified teaching of I can’t

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Qualified theology began life with good intent.

And then become bound in ever-more qualification to become ever-more-all-embracing-ever-more-applicable-to-all-people-throughout-all-time.

“All are welcome” shouldn’t need saying.

But it is all the time.

So too God and Jesus and Mercy and Worship and Grace and Love.

All need qualified explanation with a qualified language that only the qualified can understand and debate.  A language that accommodates every objection and question and doubt.  Or else it would not be explaining The Word of God for all occasions for all people in all circumstances throughout all time.  Because if it can’t then it might be flawed – and God is not flawed – so neither can The Word.

Which is why we need the qualified to teach The Word. 

But an unintended consequence is to insulate-bind this God in a Word that has become of Man to address all questions, doubts and preferences.  Because believers …

Believe!

And believers must be strong in belief … must live a visible and differentiated life of The Good and Worthy Servant.  And that takes strength not doubt –  certainty not questions – perfection not imperfection – needs the Devil to explain temptation – needs Sin and Sinners for giving-in to temptation – and needs the qualified to “ok” (forgive?) my “sinning” (on behalf of God?).

Because God is in all – God is in the very-stinky-unkempt-beer-filled-aggressive-sweary-homeless-person – that is God as well as God in me – the well-dressed-educated-employed-responsible-and-much-blessed-so-must-be-grateful-and should-be-attending-church-person (says the qualified Word of Man God)

“BEEN BLESSED?  Give a Buck, Save a Life!”  (the link to “tax deductible donations” under a God-blog)

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.  It can be received gladly or grudgingly, in big gulps or in tiny tastes, like a deer at the salt.” Anne Lamott  (like so many extracts from The Word, we take the bit that works and discard the rest … “deer at the salt”… really?)

“Grace is a gift from Heavenly Father given through His Son, Jesus Christ.  The word grace, as used in the scriptures, refers primarily to enabling power and spiritual healing offered through the mercy and love of Jesus Christ. … The grace of God helps us every day.”  (a gift we don’t deserve but are given anyway – with all the necessary qualified-baggage – gratitude, worship, servitude, etc)

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It all separates us from God.

And in explaining God-in-The-Bible we make me BEING God-like truly unattainable – make Love (the God-version) TOTALLY unattainable for us (weak-but-strong-in-belief!!) sinners-saved.  Which lets me off the hook on “Love” as well as being “God-like”.   All I can do is to try (unsuccessfully) to be seen to be trying.  That’s what the Word of Man God says.

Like the Word of Man God also says that EVEN gays and lesbians and false teachers and those who believe in a different God or no god at all are “All Are Welcome” if …

Which has one teensy-weensy flaw …  

It is not of Love and Grace and God.  Is not of I Am which IS the Word of God.

Now add Love (without any conditions at all)

not even the “condition” of me loving without any condition at all

– which means gays and lesbians and those who believe in a different God or no god at all AS WELL AS the very-stinky-unkempt-beer-filled-aggressive-sweary-homeless-person (who might ALSO be gay or lesbian or believe in a different God or no god at all) are not even visible as “different” to me by my (qualified) differentiation and my (taught) definition and my (conditional) no-conditions-love.

Or to put it another way …

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LOVE makes all “invisible” as different in any way to God.

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Which means ..

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Love makes all invisible as different in any way to me as well.

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And if I am Love …

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Then I shouldn’t need the Word of God …

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To teach me that I can’t.

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Finding the right church

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All my life it seems like I have been told that all “you need to do is to find the right church” …

And I have a car and enough money to fill it with petrol.

And if my priorities were in the right order I shouldn’t have a problem with driving miles to find my right church.

In other words, if I love God enough to actually (and in reality) follow Him …

Then I should be prepared to give Him my driving-finding-time in order to “find Him” where I need to be “met and never left unchanged”.

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Something in that thinking and confident teaching always seemed wrong to me.  And I could never verbalise why.

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And

Now

I

Can.

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Where is my home, justmebeingcurious

Home and us has been a journey. 

And I have come to realise “home” is very simple.

… … …

And that’s where my “home” is. 

And that’s why I have struggled with “church”.

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Why not have a look and see if you have found the right church yet.

Thank you –

 

Paulfg

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Love the gun, hate the gunner

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Hate the rhetoric, love the speaker.

Hate the consequences, but never change.

Love myself, but what can I do.

Meet me where I am – 

But leave me unchanged. 

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“Soundbites bite.

Repeated enough they become truth
They never were and never are

But we will allow

For they fit our timetable of outrage
And discomfort of connection

For a millisecond”

 

Three things I pray,

justmebeingcurious

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